Farmington runs out of gas against Gallup 70-64
Navajo Prep comes up short against Tohatchi in 1-3A District final
FARMINGTON – It was a magical week for the Farmington girls basketball team, but the Lady Scorpions didn't have quite enough gas in the tank to take down unbeaten Gallup in the District 1-5A final.
The Lady Scorps (14-13) won four games in six nights leading up to Saturday's title game, one in which they held a lead in the second half in. But, ultimately, they fell 70-64 to the Lady Bengals (25-0) in Gallup.
Farmington entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed, but caught fire last week, beginning with an upset win over Piedra Vista on Feb. 21.
The visitors looked anything but hot in the opening minutes of Saturday's contest, falling behind 10-0 before gaining their composure.
"We made some shots finally, after that, and started taking care of the ball a little bit," Lady Scorps coach Danny Secrest said. "Overall, I thought it was a great effort from the girls. I mean, we played all freaking week long."
Midway through the third quarter, Farmington found itself ahead of Gallup 43-36. The big mid-game run was fueled by Meeya Yazzie's team-high 18 points, many of which came in transition.
But the end of the third quarter was not friendly to FHS, as a week's worth of nonstop effort finally caught up with the Lady Scorps.
Gallup went on a 15-4 run late in the frame and took an 8-point lead into the fourth. The Lady Bengals would never let the visitors get within 4 points after that.
"I thought that we attacked the basket, but we struggled on finishing those attacks," Secrest said. "I think we lost our legs a little bit at the end there. We missed a couple free throws at the end that could have brought us to 2 (points)."
Farmington was forced to foul down the stretch, hoping that Gallup would miss some timely free throws, but the hosts did not.
Lyla Denny and MaKayla Wood each helped out with 10 points for Farmington, which awaits to see where it will land in the state tournament when brackets are released this afternoon.
Tohatchi 52, Navajo Prep 42
Navajo Prep's most complete game of this week's District 1-3A tournament still wasn't enough to overcome Tohatchi on Saturday night.
The Lady Eagles (13-16) played well on both sides of the court, but couldn't top Tohatchi (25-3), and fell 52-42 on the road in the district final.
"We played a whole lot better than we have been, and we won five straight coming into the night," Prep coach Rainy Crisp said. "Our defense was great."
Crisp said she was proud of her perimeter defense on Saturday, which held the 3-point happy Lady Cougars to just three triples.
Prep went into the break down by 8 points, and Tohatchi expanded that lead down the stretch. But a couple of timely Prep 3-pointers had the Lady Eagles thinking upset.
"We kept it tight and got some big 3s from Jazmin Benally and Taina Sandoval," Crisp said. "Tohatchi has all those wins for reason, though. They responded every time."
Harlei Haceesa was tremendous for Prep with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Lemaira Romaine was also a beast on the glass, pulling down 17 boards.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.